By BosNewsLife Africa Service
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)– Nigeria’s troubled Christian community was plunged into mourning Wednesday, November 27, after the military confirmed that scores of Christians were killed in Nigeria’s Plateau state by suspected Islamic gunmen.
Tuesday’s attack was the latest unrest to hit the area gripped by a decade-long sectarian conflict, that has impacted especially Christians.
Local believers said the attacks on four heavily Christian villages started at 1 a.m. local time in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area in Plateau State in central Nigeria.
They said ethnic Fulani herdsmen killed 37 people, injured many others and destroyed homes, the military’s Special Task Force spokesman, Salisu Mustapha, said.
“The attackers killed 13 people in Katu Kapang, eight in Daron, nine in Tul and seven others in Rawuru,” he told reporters.
Mustapha said “the gunmen fled on sighting the arrival of the troops” and that the situation was now “under control.”
Analysts say the mostly Muslim Fulani-Hausa group has been blamed for attacks on Christians from the Berom group. Berom leaders have accused the military of supporting and at times co-operating with the Fulani.
However critics say such allegations have not been proven.
The latest attack came amid reports that as many as 34 Christians were killed by fighters of the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, in Borno state, earlier this month.
Boko Haram, or ‘Western education is a sin’, wants to establish an Islamic state in the country. It has created an atmosphere of hatred towards Christians, local observers say.
Nigeria’s Plateau state, where Tuesday’s attacks happened, lies in the country’s “Middle Belt,” the dividing line between the majority Christian south and majority Muslim north.
Several peace processes in Plateau have mostly failed to stop the violence, with deep mistrust persisting between the state’s politicians and the security forces, commented the Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera.